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Contemporary issues and new horizons for the geographies of music I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Media and Communication Geography Specialty Group, Film-Making and Screening Specialty Group
Organizers: Joseph Palis, Christopher Post, Ola Johansson
Chairs: Joseph Palis


Over the last few decades, a rich body of literature has showed the importance of music to understand the spatial dimensions of societies. Geography and related disciplines have focused on the role that music has had in the construction of specific places and spaces: how music affect the way people perceive cities or regions, and to challenge the dominant practices and norms associated with them; the way music has been used to (re)brand and regenerate localities; and the circulation of music genres in a context of cultural globalization (Leyshon et al., 1995; Connell and Gibson, 2003; Anderson et al., 2005; Johansson and Bell, 2009; Peterson, 1997; Forman, 2002; Bennett and Peterson, 2004).

While paying attention to the legacy, this session(s) will also explore new directions of the geographies of music. To this end, we welcome papers addressing (but not limited to) the following themes and topics:

 Music and urban development. Since early baseline research (Krims 2007), cities increasingly view local music scenes and the existence of a live music “ecology” as tools of economic development that create value for cities, often intending for them to appear as “creative” places in order to reinforce their attractiveness (Florida and Jackson 2010).

 Live music and other transformations of the music industry. The music industry has responded to the rise of online consumption of music through a reorganization that includes the growing importance of live music. Following new research on the role of technology in the cultural, urban, and economic geographies of music (Leyshon, 2014; Hracs et al., 2016), we are interested in paper that explore these ongoing changes.

 Music in tourism and heritage policies. The use of music in tourism was noticed by scholars more than a decade ago (Connell and Gibson, 2005; Cohen, 2007). Even more so today, visitors travel to music hotspots to unearth musical histories in the urban landscape. How do those responsible for presenting cities as sites of music-making – local music fans, large non-profit institutions, corporations, or city governments –focusing on past histories or contemporary scenes?

 Imagining music and places. Both scholars and the popular imagination connect artists and places (Peterson, 1997; Forman, 2002). A body of work has dealt with the geographical imaginaries conveyed by music, songs, and performances; yet, there are ways to deepen the analysis. How does music represent fractured geographic identities of belonging? How can material culture reveal connections between music and place? What discursive process are at work in these examples?


Bennett A. and Peterson R. 2004. Music Scenes: Local, Translocal and Virtual. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Cohen S. 2007. Decline, Renewal and the City in Popular Music Culture: Beyond the Beatles. Farnham: Ashgate.

Connell J. and Gibson C. 2003. Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place. London and New York: Routledge.

Connell J. and Gibson C. 2005. Music and Tourism: On the Road Again. Bristol: Channel View Publications.

Florida, R. and Jackson, S. 2010. Sonic City: The Evolving Economic Geography of the Music Industry. Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3): 310-321.

Forman M. 2002. The Hood Comes First: Race, Space and Place in Rap and Hip-hop. Middletown: Wesleyan.

Hracs B., Seman M., and Virani T. 2016. The Production and Consumption of Music in the Digital Age. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.

Johansson O. and Bell T. 2009. Sound, Society and the Geography of Popular Music. Farnham: Ashgate.

Krims, A. 2007. Music and Urban Geography. New York: Routledge.

Leyshon A., 2014. Reformatted: Code, Networks, and the Transformation of the Music Industry. Oxford: University Press.

Peterson R. 1997. Creating Country Music, Fabricating Authenticity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Christopher Post*, Kent State University, Tom Petty’s Music and a Dialectic Regionalism 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Arno Van Der Hoeven*, ESHCC / Dept. of Media and Communication, Erik Hitters, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The spatial value of live music: performing, (re)developing and representing urban space. 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Mark Rhodes*, Michigan Technological University, Memory Work, Music Work, and the Transnational Performance of the Welsh National Eisteddfod 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Richard Furtick*, University of North Texas, "Is This Land Made for You and Me" 15 12:00 AM
Discussant Tyler Sonnichsen University of Tennessee 15 12:00 AM

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